The Book Design Process
It’s hard to list everything that transpires throughout the book design process, but here are the foundational pieces.
Step 1: Discovery Call
The designer/author connection is an important part of the design process, and it’s important that we like each other, lol. The discovery call allows us to learn about you and your project, and it also gives us an opportunity to discuss processes and expectations before you ever sign a contract.
Step 2: Submit for a Quote
Once the call is complete and you are ready to move forward, you will fill out a short form to request a formal quote for the services you need.
Step 3: Receive a Formal Proposal
After we review your quote request and manuscript, we will send back a formal proposal.
You will select the services that you want to move forward with, a contract will be automatically generated, and an invoice for 50% of the contracted amount will also be automatically generated. We do use Paypal but you don’t have to have a Paypal account to complete this step.
Step 4: Project Forms are Sent
After the invoice has been paid, we will send you forms for you to complete based on the services you selected.
Step 5: Dropbox Share is Set Up
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of working with MPS is that we manage all of the files for your project.
- Clients have immediate access to anything that MPS creates for their project.
- All design files created by MPS are properly packaged and stored in Dropbox in case the client or another designer needs access to the original work. (Packaging files is when all of the fonts, elements, and any associated design file(s) are exported out to one folder.)
- Files are named in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Even if the client doesn’t use Dropbox, MPS will work with them to obtain/send files through email, but we will still maintain a Dropbox folder for the project and provide the link to the client.
The Rest of the Process
The rest of the process will depend on the services you selected. A majority of our clients hire us to design the cover, format and typeset the interior for print and epub/kindle, and upload their files to the platform(s) of their choice (KDP, IngramSpark, D2D, Smashwords, Total Printing Systems or other book manufacturer).
The process outlined below is the path that the majority of our clients will take.
Step 6: Design the Cover
- After the author has completed the front cover design form, we work together to sculpt a full cover for the book that is a win for the reader, the author, and designer. Learn more about my win-win-win cover design process.
- After the front cover is approved, we will move on to the back cover design.
- Once the cover design has been finalized, we generate any deliverables that were purchased.
- 3D Mockups
- Promo Images
- Style Sheet
- Individual Design Elements
Step 7: Design, Format, and Typeset the Interior
- The author sends their edited and ready-for-formatting manuscript.
- We do a sample formatting of the first portion of the book and get feedback on any of the top-level formatting (chapter headings, margins, body text settings, design elements, etc.).
- After the top-level formatting is locked-in, we move on to text revisions and minor formatting adjustments. There are 3 rounds of revisions with the author, then the file is ready for proofreading. Proofreading is a specific type of editing that is done post-layout. A true proofreader is looking for formatting and layout mistakes, in addition to any remaining typos.
Step 8: Order a Print Proof
- While not required, we strongly encourage you to order a print proof of your book. There are usually still a handful of corrections that need to be made to the text, and this also gives us an opportunity to check the color and binding and overall presentation of the book.
- After the post-print-proof revisions are made, the PDF for print/download is generated.
Step 9: Generate the ePub/Kindle file
While the print file is the base for the epub file, it gets split into two separate files so the hand-coding can be done. We do not just run your file through a converter, so it’s important that all of the text corrections have been made prior to starting the epub.
Step 10: Upload the Files
Uploads to all platforms are completed, and the author is ready to follow the rest of their marketing plan.